Monday, September 28, 2009

Kitty teapot

My realtor and his wife came to my last sale. In the middle of perusing my wares, their youngest daughter, who is away at university, called her mom. After talking with her mom, she got to talk to her dad who asked her: what kind of pottery would you like?

She replied that she wanted a teapot... a purple teapot.

As I had no teapots for sale, this became a commissioned piece. I have been wanting to make a teapot again since I haven't made one in years and at one point, was complimented by a senior potter that I was making the best teapots in the studio. (I shall take pictures of Blossom Hill Crafts one day, so you may see this wonderful place.) At any rate, I made a few teapots, sold them and then, sort of lost interest or something...

Anyways, back to the purple teapot. When working in a high fire studio (cone 10 or about 2345ยบ F), you learn that there are a few colors that are difficult to achieve. Of course, purple is one of them. There are some glaze recipes out there for purple, but sometimes, depending on the firing, they tend toward blue... I used to use one glaze called Hatcher Purple. It was pretty reliable and although I never experienced it running, it can run (basically the glaze drips/flows down the side of the pot, off of the pot and onto the expensive kiln shelves thereby fusing the pot to the kiln shelf which will then need to be replaced depending on how bad the run is).

But, I get ahead of myself. This is the teapot as it is right now. I threw the body, lid and spout yesterday, heated each piece with a heat gun and then let them sit for awhile. Last night, before going to bed, I covered the pieces with a piece of dry cleaner's plastic (this is the best as it's not too thick and not too thin, gives just enough coverage that will allow the pieces to dry slowly). I did cover the spout earlier in the day because it was smaller and therefore faster drying.  After doing this, I texted my realtor to find out what kind of object/animal his daughter likes because I could either make a normal, boring knob on the lid, or I could sculpt something cute. He replied that his daughter likes cats and their bichon frise puppy. Being a cat lover myself, I chose to sculpt a kitty.

At any rate, the teapot is now in a stage called "leather hard". At this stage of dryness, it is the time to trim the bottom of the pot so that it looks neat and pretty. It's also the stage when it's best to attach such parts as spouts or handles or kitty knobs. I plan to add a bamboo handle to this teapot when it's done (I prefer teapots with bamboo handles rather than attached handles), so that's why there are loops at the front and back.

I'll try to take pictures of the bisque stage and will definitely take pictures of the finished purple piece.

By the way, the phoenix pot is now completely dry and ready for bisquing. Yes, it takes a long time to finish one piece of pottery.

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